John Quincy Adams to William Cranch
Haverhill Novr. 1st. 1785
My two Brothers, Leonard and Charles,1 will leave us tomorrow for Cambridge, and you would perhaps strike me from your books, was I to let them go without writing something: and as my inclination and my interest, are in this case, both on one side of the Question, I will say some thing, though it may not be worth your reading.
You know not how often I have thought of you, and wish’d for you, since you left us;2 and now I am about to be entirely forsaken; Leonard and Charles, who have been since they arrived two sources of great pleasure, and amusement to me, will be gone to morrow and I shall have for my Consolation little else, but my studies; one or two families I can visit in the only manner which can give me any pleasure; I mean without form or Ceremony: and with their kindness and that of the family I am in, I shall spend the Winter as agreeably, as the impatient State of my mind, will permit.
How do you come on with the hymn of Cleanthes?3 I shall insist upon it, that you send me your translation, as soon as it is finish’d, and you shall have mine at the same time; you will remember, to give <
it> the book to Johonnot4 with my Love when you have done with it. I wish to see his skill try’d too, on the same Subject.
I have had a most noble feast since you left us: a Letter from my Sister of 32 pages; I am sorry it did not come before you went, that you might have read it. The latest of the dates is August 15th.5
You will not forget my request concerning a Chum6—a sober, studious youth, of a good moral and literary Character, is what I wish for, and I hope, you may find such a one.
Your affectionate Cousin.
J. Q. Adams
A Very different Letter this, from that, I wrote you last;7 I endeavoured before I began, to write; <
but my?> be merry, but I cannot; put content in my face, or on my Paper, when I have it not at heart. My next perhaps, will be like the last. Adieu.
RC (MH); addressed: “Mr. William Cranch. Cambridge”; endorsed: “J. Q. A. Haverhill Novr. 1st. 1785.”
1. JQA’s use of “My two Brothers” for Leonard White and CA suggests how quickly he had become a close friend of White. His younger brother TBA stayed in Haverhill.
2. On 28 Oct., accompanying his sister Lucy Cranch to Braintree before returning to Cambridge (JQA, Diary description begins Diary of John Quincy Adams, ed. David Grayson Allen, Robert J. Taylor, and others, Cambridge, 1981-. description ends , 1:348).
3. The hymn to Zeus by the 3d-century B.C. Stoic philosopher Cleanthes.
4. Samuel Cooper Johonnot accompanied JA and JQA to Europe in 1779, and studied in Paris with JQA in 1780. JQA’s last reference to Johonnot was in Aug. 1783, shortly before Johonnot’s return to America (same, 1:181; JQA to Johonnot, 31 Aug. 1783, CtY).
6. That is, college roommate.